Friday, December 12, 2014


  1. Cat Ferguson, Adam Marcus, and Ivan Oransky in Nature: Publishing: The peer-review scam. "When a handful of authors were caught reviewing their own papers, it exposed weaknesses in modern publishing systems. Editors are trying to plug the holes."

  2. Matt Kutner in Boston Magazine: How to Game the College Rankings. "Northeastern University executed one of the most dramatic turnarounds in higher education. Its recipe for success? A single-minded focus on just one list."

  3. S. Rukmini in The Hindu: 40 % faculty posts vacant in Central varsities. "Faculty vacancy in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) was 40 per cent as of July this year, most acute in Varanasi, Roorkee (above 50 per cent), Kharagur and Delhi. Vacancies were highest for OBC faculty. ...In the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), faculty vacancies stood at over 20 per cent, highest in Indore (52 per cent) and Ranchi (48 per cent)."


  1. gautam barua said...

    These reports on vacancies never tell the full story. The reporters have very little idea of what these numbers mean and they are not interested to find out. This is bacause the story as told is more sensational - shortage in elite institutions!
    If the approved student to faculty ratio is 10:1, it places a limit on the maximum number of faculty that can be hired. This does not mean that any Institute with less number of faculty are not doing a good job in teaching. This is the clear implication behind these reports - the quality of teaching is suffering. Just to teach, a ratio of 20:1 or thereabouts is sufficient. So the quality of teaching in IITs or Central Univs (I dont know what ratio they have as Univs have so many depts, the number of posts may be larger than a 10:1 ratio and so their teaching load is likely to be even more comfortable than IITs) is suffering. But, yes, surely, the quantity of research (the other major activity) will be less with less number of faculty. Then again, the shortage is not uniformly distributed across the disciplines. Computer Science usually has the biggest shortage, and the research record of CS is also usually lagging behind that of other disciplines. There are no shortages in the Science and HSS disciplines and in many Engg. disciplines.